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A year after her death, Aretha Franklin is still the Queen of Soul


Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film FestivalA year ago today, the world lost the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. Since then, she’s been honored with reissues, awards, tribute concerts and site re-namings, and there’s still more to come.

Today in Detroit, the now-renamed Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre will host a celebration of her life and music, featuring singer and pastors who, according to the Detroit Free Press, played “key roles” in Aretha’s life.

While admission is free, donations will be solicited for the new Aretha Franklin Endowed Scholarship Fund for Detroit high-school students, as well as to a local group that helps people who suffer from the same kind of cancer that killed the Grammy-winning legend.

As the Detroit Free Press points out, since her death, Aretha was the subject of a two-hour Grammy tribute show and a tribute at the American Music Awards. In addition to the Detroit amphitheater, a stretch of freeway in the city is will be renamed the Aretha L. Franklin Memorial Highway. Plus, fans are now finally able to enjoy the movie Amazing Grace, featuring footage of Aretha performing in church in 1972. It’s available now for streaming.

Aretha was also awarded a special citation by the Pulitzer Prize board, an honor that only 43 people have received. She is the only woman to be so honored. 

Aretha fans can look forward to a biopic starring Jennifer Hudson, but the film’s release date hasn’t been solidified, according to an attorney for the singer’s estate.  In addition, Franklin will be the subject of the third season of Genius, the National Geographic channel series that devoted previous seasons to Albert Einstein and Picasso.

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